Fairfax-controlled Quess Corp to acquire majority stake in Vedang Cellular
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Fairfax-controlled business services provider Quess Corp Ltd said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire a 70% stake in Vedang Cellular Services Pvt. Ltd for up to Rs 40 crore ($6.2 million) in cash.

Quess said the acquisition of the telecom network operations and maintenance services provider complements its capabilities in telecom network management in terms of service offerings, geographical reach and customer base.

The transaction is likely to be completed by the end of November, Bangalore-based Quess said in a statement.

Mumbai-based Vedang was set up in 2010 and has about 1,500 engineers and technicians deployed across client sites. It posted a net profit of Rs 5.5 crore on revenue of Rs 78.2 crore for the year through March 2017.

Quess also said that it has decided to form a joint venture with Trimax IT Infrastructure and Services Ltd to create an information, communication and technology infrastructure as part of a smart city project in Ahmedabad. Quess will hold a 51% stake in the joint venture, called Trimax Smart Infraprojects Pvt. Ltd.

Quess, earlier known as IKYA Human Capital Solutions Ltd, was founded by serial entrepreneur Ajit Isaac. The firm was acquired by travel and tour company Thomas Cook in early 2013 for Rs 256 crore. It was then rebranded as Quess. Thomas Cook itself was acquired in 2012 by Fairfax, which is controlled by Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa. India-born Watsa is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Fairfax Financial Holdings based in Toronto.

Quess went public in July 2016 through an initial public offering of Rs 400 crore. The IPO was subscribed a whopping 144 times, making it the most attractive primary market offering in eight years. Its shares jumped 57% on debut.

Quess has an active acquisition strategy, and it has acquired stakes in close to two dozen companies since 2008.

In August, the company said it planned to raise Rs 1,150 crore ($180 million) through an institutional private placement for acquisitions, other strategic initiatives and working capital requirements.

In January, Quess announced the acquisition of a 26% stake in Coimbatore-based software development company Heptagon Technologies Pvt. Ltd for Rs 5.55 crore in cash. In May, Quess Corp increased its stake in Heptagon to 46%.

In 2016, it entered Singapore by acquiring a 64% stake in IT staff augmentation solutions company Comtel Solutions Pte. Ltd.

In November last year, Quess had acquired the facility management and catering business of Manipal Integrated Services Pvt. Ltd for Rs 220 crore and an additional stock component.

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